Well, there have been quite a few twists and turns since my last update. It feels as though we’re moving into “this is so crazy, it’s almost funny” category…
It’s been nearly a week since my last report, so please forgive the information overload. If you have a few moments to read what’s been going on, I think you’ll understand why I’ve titled my post in this way.
Last Saturday, Tom, Brennan and I visited my Dad at the rehab hospital. He was in an exceptionally good mood and it was a terrific visit. We left to do a couple of other things, but Mom was spending the remainder of the day with him. At dinner time, he was able to go to the dining room in his wheelchair, and Mom was eating with him. At some point, his chair tipped forward sending him onto the floor (I should explain that when he is in his wheelchair, he has to sit with his feet extended straight in front of him and we know now it should have been weighted in the back to compensate for that.) Needless to say, it shook everyone up. In addition, it resulted in added bruising to one of his feet and a lot more pain in both of them. The rehab hospital apologized and said this is the first time anything like that has ever happened.
Monday was Dad’s long-awaited appointment with the orthopedic doctor. My sister, Marcia (a hairdresser) graciously moved her clients for 3 hours to the following day so that she could be with my Dad when he met with the doctor (he doesn’t hear well so another set of ears is always a good thing). First, Dad was late because the van transporting him overheated. Once they got him there (in a different van), and the doctor examined and re-x-rayed him, he explained he could not do surgery. Both heels are shattered. He explained he would need to be able to anchor screws in order to do surgery and there is simply not enough unbroken area with which to do that. Instead, it’s casts and time…lots of time. He placed him in casts which he’ll have for 8 weeks, during which no weight whatsoever can be placed on his feet. Additional casts may follow, as well as continuing therapy at various intervals. All totaled, his recovery is projected to take 9 months. We were told he would most likely be in the rehab hospital for the rest of the week while they continue to work on upper body strength, etc. The van took Dad back to rehab and Marcia went back to work.
That night, while she was working with her last client, she received a phone call that her oldest daughter (my 17-year-old niece, Brooke) had fallen and most likely broken her collarbone. She finished with the client and hurried home, took her daughter to the ER and sure enough, it was broken. They prescribed pain meds, put her in a sling and sent her home. By this time, it was around midnight. When she attempted to take her first pain pill, she began choking, which caused her to cough pretty intensely. Immediately, she’s screaming that something is “stabbing” (this is not a dramatic kind of kid). They try to get her in the car to go back to the hospital and she is in so much pain, she can’t even do that. My brother-in-law attempts to lift her and she’s literally screaming. They had to call the ambulance to get her back to the hospital. When the doctor x-rays her again, he finds a substantial worsening to the injury. He kept her on an IV drip overnight of pain med, wrapped her, placed her in a sling and at 6:00 am said she could go home (with a referral to an orthopedic doctor).
Back at home with no sleep, my sister gets Brooke settled, makes arrangements for the neighbor to check on her and starts preparing for work (to take care of the clients she moved from the day before). Just then, my Mom (who doesn’t drive) calls her to say they’re releasing my Dad from the rehab hospital! Marcia calls me at work, understandably in meltdown mode. Because of my surgery earlier this year, I had only one remaining day off, and I had been saving it for Dad’s surgery day. Since learning the day before he couldn’t have surgery, it was obvious this was the time to use it. I made arrangements at work, took a bus home, then drove straight to the rehab hospital.
I have to admit, I was really angry at them because they hadn’t yet taught us how to even get Dad in and out of a car, we hadn’t moved any furniture or made the necessary preparations at home or anything! When I arrived, the discharge process was well underway. A nurse was going over a long list of medications with Dad & Mom (a neighbor brought her). Another nurse came in with other information and I asked if they were going to show us how to get him in/out car, etc. I explained that we weren’t expecting this and weren’t prepared, etc. She apologizes, saying “I’m sorry this seems so disorganized, we normally have more time to do this” and then (looking at my Dad) she says “but you were the one who wanted to leave today, so we’re doing our best…” at which point my Mom and I realize what has lead to this whole flurry of activity. When the nurse walks out of the room, Dad stammers a bit and says, “that’s not what happened…it was the therapist who said they have done all they can do for me until my next set of casts, etc…” Knowing Dad was very anxious to get home, we really weren’t sure what to think, but at that point, it didn’t really change anything. They showed us how to get him in and then out of the car from his wheelchair, we took him home where he sat on the porch while we moved the necessary furniture in the house. We finally got him settled and I left to fill his 12 prescriptions, pick up other needed items and make some phone calls for my Mom.
By the time all this was complete, it was late afternoon. I left to pick up Tom from the bus stop, prepared a very quick dinner, went back to get Mom (while my brother stayed with Dad) and the three of us went to the funeral visitation for my Uncle. He had passed away on Saturday after a very lengthy illness.
Yesterday, my niece had the appointment with the orthopedic doctor. He’s placed her in a different type of sling and indicated he believes (in addition to her broken collarbone), she has possibly displaced her shoulder. She goes back in two weeks at which time he will determine if she needs surgery. You can bet we’re all praying she won’t -- first for her sake, but also of course for my sister. I can only imagine how much that could complicate this whole scenario.
Besides a couple of minor issues, Dad seems to be doing alright at home. Mom’s hanging in there, too.
If this weren't quite enough to push me to the point of almost laughter, add in a car in the shop, plumbing problems and a broken washing machine (no kidding). Yes, we're in the midst of quite a season here. Praise God we can trust (despite appearances) He does indeed have things under control.
Maybe you too find yourself in the midst of a storm. Can I share a passage of scripture that resides at the forefront of my thoughts these days? It’s 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 from “The Message.” I've made this my 2009 Scripture Memory Challenge for the entire month of June...
So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.
Once again, I’m so grateful for (and humbled by) your prayers and encouragement. I’m so blessed to count you as friends. I’m hoping to be back to blogging more regularly very soon. I really miss visiting with you! Take care.